As many of you will now know, there is a distinct threat of rain this weekend for the 2012 Formula 1 finale at Interlagos. However, there have been some key changes over the last 48 hours since my initial post, so let’s get straight into it…
The prognosis for Thursday and Friday remains largely unchaged. It will be mainly dry with some pleasant sunshine around for the press and PR activities tomorrow and for first practice on Friday morning. Clouds are expected to gradually build between the two 90-minute sessions and this could result in near-overcast conditions by the time on-track activity ends. Air temperature will climb to around 29 or 30 degrees Celsius on both days.
There is a slight chance of the increasing clouds producing a shower towards late afternoon / early evening, but this threat is on the low side and should enable the teams to get through the first day without too much trouble.
The Cold Front
Now, to the main event that we have been discussing since Saturday. A cold front is already forming across central Argentina this afternoon. It will intensify over the next 24 hours or so and then begin a slow trek north-eastwards. The latest projection is that the front will be slower moving than first thought and this has a huge potential impact for Sunday’s race.
Saturday’s forecast (as a result) now changes a little, because the focus of the rain has shifted foward by one day. It will be dry for much of the morning, extending into the early afternoon. Mainly cloudy conditions are expected for final practice, as outlying cloud from this front moves in over the region. Qualifying is on a knife-edge just for the moment, but with the projection moving forward timewise, we are now looking at a drier scenario for the knockout session, with just a slight chance of showers. Air temperature will peak at 33 Celsius and this could produce a thunderstorm or two by late afternoon.
The fun now begins on Saturday evening, with showers crossing the region overnight and into Sunday morning. Race day will start off overcast with some light showers around, but throughout the day these will intensify, with the worst of any rainfall now set for Sunday afternoon. Rainfall totals on Sunday range from one to two inches and the race is looking set to be wet, with some particularly heavy bursts at times. Air temperature will drop considerably to a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius.
To summarise, the worst of the rain is now predicted between midday and midnight local time on Sunday. Ferrari fans will of course continue rain dancing all over the world in the hope that Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel don’t get an easy ride on a dry circuit.
This story is still evolving and there will be further fine detail changes as we approach the weekend. I will be back between 19:00 and 20:00 GMT tomorrow with a further update and a look ahead to Friday’s forecast.